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Does yoga work and can you really benefit from it?

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As a make-up artist, hair stylist and beauty photographer I usually write about different subjects, though for my clients who know me more, this blog shouldn’t come as a surprise. I believe that to maintain our beauty we need to work not only with creams, serums and exfoliation but also on our body as a whole.

I have been doing yoga for many years on and off. In the last year I finally committed to it and now I feel that I am starting to understand it. Either I am an extremely slow learner, or one needs to give oneself a bit of time to discover properly this ancient philosophy of being.

Throughout the last year I have had an opportunity to learn more about yoga from extremely good teachers, not only in the UK but also in Sri Lanka, Europe and Canada. The purpose of this blog is to share with you a few new things I learned, which may entice you to do yoga or may enrich the knowledge you already have.

Breathing is something we all tend to take for granted. I am as guilty of this as anyone else. Deep inhalations and exhalations as part of our daily exercises, can improve our quality of life, physically and mentally. We can be more productive as runners, yogis or on our weekly visits to the gym, and generally more grounded as human beings. As simple as it sounds, proper breathing is extremely powerful. Now when I am introduced to a new exercise in the gym, I usually get the breathing right. I have only begun to touch the surface and I already see an amazing improvement to my life as a whole. One of my teacher at the Iyengar Centre in Maida Vale, Orfa who I recently mentioned in my interview for ‘Farbic Magazine’, always says “the mouth is for eating and the nose is for breathing”. She couldn’t be more right!

Last summer while in British Colombia I was introduced to the Kundalini yoga practice, which is both spiritual and physical. I must say, I had never heard of this style of yoga before. Kundalini yoga is all about releasing the energy, which is said to be trapped or coiled in the lower spine. I am not gong to swap Iyengar yoga for Kundalini, but this practice just reassures me how important breathing is for invigorating our posture and energising our body.

In Sri Lanka, I met a very interesting Ayurvedic doctor and yoga master. Because I love learning new things and pushing my boundaries, I could not stop myself from having a consultation with him. The only thing that I found off-putting initially, was a picture in his studio of him with the current prime minister of India, Narendra Modi. Just to clarify, I dislike the values he represents. After all, I decided not to mix yoga with politics, as many people do nowadays. The doctor, more than anything, emphasised the importance of breathing when we practice yoga. He suggested to do breathing exercises every day to strengthen my body. He said that it doesn’t matter which style of yoga you practice but make sure you pay attention to the way you breath. You will become more aware of the postures you practice and you will also benefit more from them. He also emphasised to make sure we work equally on both the right and the left sides of our body.

yoga and breathing

I definitely use my right side more because of my work. I specially notice that every time I use my computer I strain one side more. This is why yoga is so important for me to keep everything in balance. I am sure many of you who use a computer on a daily basis, know exactly what I mean. My advice to you is; keep everything in balance and breath deeply. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world or what issues you have with your body, I am certain that this simple advice will be helpful. Keep practicing breathing exercises every day and you will see a difference in no time.

If you have any questions or want to share with me any other good points as to why we all can benefit from yoga, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at anita@anitawarszwska.com.

 

 

 

Anita’s Beauty Secrets

  1.  Exercise – keep moving at least 5 days a week is one of the top beauty secrets. Exercises boost your immune system and keep your body in good shape so you can wear a bikini all year around without thinking twice.

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  1. Relax – do yoga or pilates and try to meditate. Always listen to your body and relax your mind. They both need to stay in harmony to keep you well inside out. To find out more about yoga read my next blog.

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  1. Stay hydrated – water is your best friend. Dehydration makes you feel fatigue and affects the elastisity of your skin.

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  1. Sleep well – you need at least 7 hours per night. A lack of sleep increases anxiety and affects your performance in the long run.

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  1. Think organic – not only about your food but also about beauty products you use every day on your skin. To know more about this read here. Nourishing yourself well is incredibly important for body balance. Eat healthy and keep good balance between carbs, fats and proteins.

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6.  Give yourself lots of TLC – treat yourself to a facial and a massage once a month. Remember you live only once! Facials won’t remove your wrinkles but they will make you feel good and will improve your skin quality. The truth is, if you feel great, you look amazing.

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7.  Love yourself the way you are – don’t try to be someone else. I always say to my clients, as long as you work with your own natural beauty, you are always a winner!

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The best shops for beauty products in London

I love shopping for beauty products in London. I probably do window-shopping for make-up and beauty products on a weekly basis. It’s always great fun to find new exciting products and keeps yourself well informed. Nowadays the beauty industry is moving so fast that, as a beauty professional, you have to keep checking everything if you want to stay on top of your game.

Today, I have decided to share with you my favorite and in my opinion the best beauty shops in London

Space NK

If you’re looking for expert advice on what will be good for your skin type before you splash out £200 on a moisturizer, then Space NK is your go-to shop. It seems like a pharmacy but is full of high-end make-up and skincare products. Its expert sales assistants will talk you through the pros and cons of one brand vs. another, without trying to push you either way. Some of their staff are very knowledgeable and you can learn from them as you shop. I have never felt disappointed while shopping there and I am quite a demanding client! They stock ‘Hourglass’ powders and ‘Make-up by Terry’, that I use a lot and many more great products that are hard to buy in other stores.

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Whole Foods

If you care as much about what’s in your products as how they make you look, then nowhere beats this hipster supermarket’s beauty section. Organic, paraben-free, sulphate-free, vegan – you name it, they’ve got it. The assistants know their stuff and they stock everything including make-up products. Organic primer and vegan mascara by ‘Inika’ are the ones to choose by all of you who want to go chemical-free.

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Liberty

This lux department store offers both a beautiful environment and an unrivalled selection of beauty products. The people who work there always take the time to advise you, while you can pick up very expensive serum they also have more affordable products. For those of you who find Harrods and Selfridges is a bit too much, Liberty can feel like an oasis. I always shop in Liberty for my favourite, make-up brushes by Trish McEvoy, although unfortunately they are not so cheap. I am absolutely addicted to them. They are the best!

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House of Mistry

The House of Mistry was opened in the summer of 1975 as a small chemist, in South End Green, Hampstead. Today you can go there and choose from a wide range of products. If you are lucky, like me, you may get a personal tour from Dr. Mistry himself. I absolutely love this store. It is a bit ‘quirky’ but the products you find there are priceless. Look for high SPF sun creams which are super effective and free of chemicals.

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Organic Pharmacy

I not only love their products but I also highly recommend their signature facials to all my clients. Make sure you ask for someone experienced and you won’t regret it.

The owner Margo Marrone, while studying pharmacy became aware of organic ingredients and what they meant. Her principles are very simple; the best organic ingredients, honest expert advice, quality service, incredibly effective products and a caring environment. What else do you need? Try their ‘Rose balm’ and you will be addicted forever!

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Planet Organic

I must say it is very convenient to have a branch  of this store in your neighbourhood. The body-care department stocks the best natural beauty brands and a wide range of high-quality health supplements.

While you are there – choosing a ’Rose water’ by Pukka or shampoo by ‘John Masters’-you can get a super green juice with extra ginger, which is divine! All these just to look good and healthy this spring!

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Disclaimer

For all of you who don’t know me, I don’t receive any rewards or advantages from any of the stores or manufactures of products that I recomened.

To read more blogs about beauty products please klick here.

 

Younger, Healthier Skin With Ayurveda!

Ayurveda healing system tips central London

Because we all want younger, healthier, more radiant looking skin, I decided to look into Ayurveda. I learnt how to care for the outer skin, the skin that covers our body, based on the oldest holistic healing system. Every summer I discover something new and exciting about beauty and health during my holiday in British Columbia. When I am in Canada I always feel more reconnected with nature and with my spiritual side, which I find very rejuvenating. This year I learnt about Ayurveda, which is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depends on a delicate balance between mind, body and spirit.

Ayurveda is a science of life, Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge. It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behaviour and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.

According to Ayurveda, each of us inherits a unique mix of three mind/body principles which creates our specific mental and physical characteristics. These three principles are called doshas. Most of us have one or two doshas which are most lively in our nature, with the remaining one(s) less significant. The three doshas are known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

If we are predominantly Vata, as I am, we tend to be thin, light and quick in our thoughts and actions. Change is a constant part of our lives. When Vata is balanced, we are creative, enthusiastic and lively. But if Vata becomes excessive, we may develop anxiety, insomnia or irregular digestion.

If the Pitta dosha is most lively in our nature, we tend to be muscular, smart and determined. If balanced, we are warm, intelligent and a good leader. If out of balance, Pitta can make us critical, irritable and aggressive.

If we have mostly Kapha in our nature, we tend to have a heavier frame, think and move more leisurely and are emotionally stable. When balanced, it creates calmness, sweetness and loyalty. When excessive, Kapha can cause weight gain, nasal congestion and resistance to healthy change.

To be able to make the most of this blog, you have to first do an Ayurvedic Skin Type Quiz to determine your skin type.

Key to beautiful skin is the use of a good daily cleanser which softens and gently moisturizes the skin and then exfoliates. To achieve this result, we use chickpea flour, as a base, which is naturally both exfoliating and moisturizing.

 

Ayurvedic Cleanser-Toner

Mix into a paste with rose water and apply with circular motion as a cleanser-toner.

Vata Skin Type:

Add 1 teaspoon of raw honey.

Pitta Skin Type:

Add 1/4 teaspoon of dried neem leaves

Kapha Skin Type:

Add 1 teaspoon of raw honey with ½ teaspoon lemon juice.

 

Ayurvedic Mask

Mix the above ingredients into a paste and apply to the skin 1-2 times per week for 5-10 minutes, and rinse.

Vata Skin Type:

Mash 1-2 tablespoons* of ripe avocado and mix into your base mask paste.

Pitta Skin Type:

Mash 1-2 tablespoons* of cucumber and mix into your base mask paste.

Kapha Skin Type:

Mash 1-2 tablespoons* of ripe papaya and mix into your base mask paste.

* Use 1 tablespoon for regular skin and 2 tablespoons for sensitive skin.

Beautiful glowing skin is desired by every woman. Genetically we are wired to be attracted to people with clear skin and glowing complexion because it is a sign of good health. What I like about Ayurveda is that it has some time-proven tricks to make your skin clear, soft and radiant without spending a fortune or loading up on chemicals. Girls, I hope you like it too?

To find out other beauty tips klick here.

 

 

How To Choose Your Eye Cream?

The skin under your eyes is softer than that of the rest of your face and it looses its tightness faster. So here are some tips for choosing the right eye cream for you:

 

 Eye Cream

 

  1. Skin type – The eyes need special care so, as you do when choosing a face moisturizer, you need to know your skin type before choosing your eye cream;

Dry skin – cream to hydrate,

Oily skin – cream that absorb excess oil,

Combination skin – I would recommend you consult a dermatologist before choosing your eye cream,

 

  1. Puffiness under the eyes – Choose eye cream with cucumber, arnica and caffeine, such as ‘Chantecaille’ or ‘Sarah Chapman’, to reduce swelling of the eyes. Also go for yoga or try mindfulness exercises to reduce stress in your life

 

  1. Dark circles – So many clients of mine suffer from this problem every day! Look for cream with vitamins C and K and with light reflecting ingredients to give the eyes an instant bright effect. My favourite is ‘Nourish’ eye cream.

 

  1. Anti aging creams – You definitely should start using one when you reach your 40s but it is not a bad idea to start using one from your 20s. I recently discover that Baobab in your eye cream can help to improve skin firmness and strength, diminishing the visibility of fine facial lines. You can find it in ‘Dr. Jacksons Face and eyes essence’ together with others wonderful ingredients like rose water and aloe vera. I love this product!

 

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If you don’t wear a daily sunscreen, an eye cream with SPF can benefit your sensitive eye area. Using the right eye cream with the right diet can help you to have healthy looking and glowing eyes! I will write more about diet in my next blog. Girls, don’t forget to drink lots of water to keep hydrated from inside out!

 

To find out more about beauty tips klick here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How To Wash Your Face Every Day?

Washing your face is not as obvious as it seems! If you’re washing it in the shower, stop. Unless you’re taking cold showers, which is better for the skin and hair, hot water is drying and damaging. No matter what, you should always wash with cool water. Heat strips the skin of its natural oils. It’s vital not just for dry skin, but also for acne-prone skin since hot water will inflame the skin tissue around any breakouts, making them worse. Read the following simple steps to wash correctly:

Face

  1. Wet your skin with cold or lukewarm water.
  1. Put a cleanser in your palm and apply it to your face with your fingertips. Give yourself a relaxing massage this should take a minute or two.
  1. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry.
  1. Spray your skin with gentle toner. My favourite is Pukka Organic Rosewater. Let it sit on your face for a couple of minutes.
  1. Take a serum, ideally with vitamin C such as Vitamin C Serum OZ Naturals and apply to your entire face. Wait a minute or two.
  1. Now is the time to apply your eye cream. Remember to use a very small amount. Eye cream comes in small tubes for a good reason!
  1. Take your moisturiser and apply all over your face. Wait a minute or two.
  1. Finally, use sunscreen and make-up as needed.

 

Towels are a breeding ground for bacteria. If you are prone to breakouts or have sensitive skin, using a towel to dry your face can spread the bacteria and make things worse. I like to air dry and apply my serums onto slightly damp skin.

Girls, the most important thing to remember is to make sure your face is clean, toned and moisturised before you get into bed or before you put on your make-up! Take your time while washing your face, and give yourself a bit of TLC at the same time, it’s worth it!

To find out more about beauty tips klick here.